The “Ambassador” of Greek cuisine in China
When he started in 1979 to go to China for studies, Vangelis Giannarakos could not even imagine that his life would change so drastically. Lover of the Chinese literature, he was captivated by the Asian country, he studied, felt in love and decided to stay there to settle up his home, but also to develop business in the catering sector, offering traditional cuisine, Greek cuisine and of course souvlaki to the Chinese consumers.
As he characteristically says to the Athens News Agency, «the unknown in terms of cultures, people and the environment, had always fascinated me and always had a great charm. I also stayed in China because after the first few years of some difficult moments, I strongly believed that personal success could come, and also because I created a wonderful family.»
But how easy it is for a Greek restaurant to «win»- by taste at least- people whose eating habits are far and away from those of the Greeks? The answer is given by Mr Giannarakos himself: «While the mass of the people do not change the traditional flavors, however there is a growing part of the population which is closer to the Western lifestyle and likes to try all the best on the market. They also love the healthiest and easiest diet.
What if someone wants to operate business in China? «The Chinese market has its particularities,» said Vangelis Giannarakos. «It is hard to be opened, it needs patience and money in the beginning, apart from contacts nad public relations. Still needed is for someone to know what happens «in», to put a very good foundation in all areas and be located close to the customer continuously. The advertising helps too.